But wait - I USED to hate U3. U3 was a closed, windows-only, back-door, auto-run, BS that Sandisk forced me to borrow a Microsoft PC to rip out of my thumb-drive...
I was so wrong.
I discovered I could hack it. And that CD partition on the U3 drive... looks like a real CD to the computer... and it's bootable! The CD acts like a separate device on an USB hub!
I now have a bootable, 8GB Sandisk Cruzer thumbdrive with all the useful boot CD's I use - all selectable from a little menu. I haven't perfected it yet, but I have half a dozen of them already on there. I want to work on it some more and then post it so all zero of you can easily do this too. :-p
For now, here are some links to the bits and pieces I used (both are cross platform Windows-Linux-Mac-whatever that has mkisofs):
u3-tool - Allows customization of the u3 partition.
UBCD - Has a bunch of boot images pre-installed and easy directions for customizing.
So far, I left all the stuff that came on the UBCD with a few tweaks:
- I upgraded to the latest memtest86+, and DBAN.
- I added SpinRite. (The only piece of software I've bought in a decade.)
- I added the following Live CD's:
- TinyCore v2.7 - 10MB, runs almost everything useful, boots into ram 5-10 seconds. Enough said.
- Puppy Linux v4.3.1 - A little bigger, also runs in RAM, less customization needed.
- Slax 6.3.1 - Most polished Live CD I ever used. Only 200 MB base image. Online customization. Check it out.
- BackTrack 4 - 1.3GB of
evil hacker tools"computer security tools".
Really this was mostly a no-brainer with just the two links above. I had to do some
The coolest thing is that the live CD's are read only and behave just like a giant CD. The thumb-drive still shows up as a thumb-drive too. It acts like a separate device to the PC. (An U3 thumb-drive acts like a hub with two devices plugged into it.) This has some really cool implications.
Now I say... U3 ROCKS!